Bhāvanā literally means "development" or "cultivating" or "producing" in the sense of "calling into existence." It is an important concept in Buddhist praxis (Patipatti). The word bhavana normally appears in conjunction with another word forming a compound phrase such as citta-bhavana or metta-bhavana. When used on its own bhavana signifies contemplation and 'spiritual cultivation' generally.
Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward liberation from defilements (kleshas) and clinging and craving (upādāna), also called awakening, which results in the attainment of Nirvana, and includes a variety of meditation techniques such as:
- asubha bhavana ("reflections on repulsiveness")
- reflection on pratityasamutpada (dependent origination)
- sati (mindfulness) and anussati (recollections), including anapanasati (breath meditation)
- dhyana (developing an alert and luminous mind)
- the Brahma-viharas (loving-kindness and compassion)
These techniques aim to develop equanimity .
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention in the present moment without evaluation, a skill one develops through meditation or other training.
Mindfulness derives from sati, a significant element of Buddhist traditions, and is based on Zen, Vipassanā, and Tibetan meditation techniques.
Though definitions and techniques of mindfulness are wide-ranging, Buddhist traditions explain what constitutes mindfulness such as how past, present and future moments arise and cease as momentary sense impressions and .
Meditation can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve quality of life and decrease health care costs.
Meditation involves achieving a state of 'thoughtless awareness' in which the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness.
When did meditation start?
Traditionally, the practice of meditation has been used in most Asian countries, but cultures all over the world have used it for various reasons. .
The Himalayan Mountains have been the home of sages for millennia. These great sages have lived and passed on knowledge of the yogic teachings to disciples who then became masters passing on the teachings in an unbroken lineage since the Vedic period.
Twelve hundred years ago Shankaracharya organized his teaching into five centers of the Himalayan Tradition. As one of those five, our tradition is the Bharati lineage connected with the Shankaracharya at the Shringeri .